December 21, 2006


This struck me as an interesting idea, so I thought I'd give it a shot, even though I have a few in common (sort of). Give the original post and the comments a look-see. They're pretty worthwhile.

Citizen Kane
I might as well start by getting this one out of the way. Allow me to quote myself: "I'm the kind of person who can watch a movie and appreciate it immensely on the technical level, but still not enjoy it, or think it is an exceptional movie." That statement is no longer true. I am now almost incapable of disliking a well-made movie. I wrote that almost three years ago, here. I think that even as I was composing that post, I knew how silly it was. Perhaps I haven't done a complete 180 on Citizen Kane in one sense, but I have developed a very deep appreciation of it that wasn't there before. In terms of pure artistry, I no longer judge a movie based on its chosen subject. I still think that The Godfather should be the #1 film on that list, but Citizen Kane's spot in the top ten is well-deserved. Dang, I need to see that movie again. I really do.

Dr. Strangelove
I first saw this film the summer before I came to college, and I was baffled (to say the least). I didn't hate it, or even deeply dislike it, I just didn't get it. The movie was one big "Huh? Why?" It didn't help that I was the oldest person in the room, and everyone else would rather have been watching the other movie we had on hand (Danny Kaye's hilarious The Court Jester). Since then I've probably seen it 7 or 8 times, each with increased enjoyment. I realized the last time I watched it that Strangelove is probably one of the few movies that I could record my own commentary track for, and easily fill up the entire film with a steady stream of trivia, history, and analysis. If I could keep from laughing, anyway. I tend to spend most of Strangelove doubled over, even now.

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Let's track back the other direction, shall we? I was 15 years old when the first Star Wars prequel came out, and it had only been 2 years since I saw the first Star Wars movie. I was still climbing toward the peak of my fanaticism for the franchise. Phantom Menace came out on May 19th in the United States, but didn't come out until late June in Guatemala. We came to Texas that summer on around June 17th . . . in other words, I had to wait a ridiculously long time to see one of the most anticipated movies ever. I had remained scrupulously spoiler-free, with the exception of about 500 viewings of the video recording I had of the trailer.

From the moment the lights went down, I was enraptured. I adored every frame of that movie. I believe it jumped immediately to the number 2 spot on my hierarchy of Star Wars movies (The Empire Strikes Back remained and remains unsurpassed). Suffice to say that Phantom has not fared so well as Empire as time goes on. By the time Attack of the Clones came out in 2002, my loyalty was shaky, and when Revenge of the Sith (which I've still only seen once) was released three years after that, I had long since fallen off the prequel bandwagon. I don't hate Episode I (all of the prequels have their moments . . . the final one is pretty good . . . and there are just too many happy memories associated with Star Wars for me to despise them), but I do hate certain portions of it, and I don't harbor any illusions about its quality.

I'm sure I could (and will) think of more movies to write about here, but I'm very tired right now and it's nearly time for me to get ready to fly to California this afternoon. Respond with your own changes of opinion, if you can think of any. I'm interested to know what you come up with.

Posted by Jared at December 21, 2006 12:00 PM | TrackBack